Shots fired as gunmen rob KLM 747 at Johannesburg

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Armed robbers have escaped while attempting to steal valuable freight which was being unloaded from a KLM Boeing 747-400 at Johannesburg International Airport last night.

Dutch flag-carrier KLM has initiated an inquiry and a review of security in the wake of the incident.

Flight KL591 was robbed at gunpoint ahead of its return to Amsterdam. A spokesman for the airline says that shots were exchanged but that the gunmen escaped in the ensuing chaos.

KLM has not indicated what type of cargo was on board the aircraft or how much of the freight was stolen.

The aircraft, registered PH-BFM operating under the KLM Asia banner, had to be inspected for damage following the attempted robbery and was cleared to depart after incurring a delay of more than four hours.

KLM says that it is to review the shipment of valuables to the airport and is in talks with South African authorities to prevent further occurrences.